Global Perspective
  In recent years, there has been increasing emphasis placed on earth observation to help explain global environmental issues such as global warming and natural disasters. At the first Earth Observation Summit, held in Washington DC in July 2003, a number of governments adopted a declaration signifying their political commitment to develop a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained Earth observation system of systems. The Summit established an ad hoc intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and a GEO Framework Document was adopted at the second Earth Observation Summit in Tokyo in April 2004. The Framework defines the scope and intent of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan was adopted at the third Earth Observation Summit in Brussels in February 2005.
  The 10-year implementation plan pointed out that understanding the Earth system-its weather, climate, oceans, atmosphere, water, land, geodynamics, natural resources, ecosystems, and natural and human-induced hazards-is crucial to enhancing human health, safety and welfare, alleviating human suffering including poverty, protecting the global environment, reducing disaster losses, and achieving sustainable development. Observations of the Earth system constitute critical input for advancing this understanding. The purpose of the plan is to summarize the essential steps to be undertaken over the next decade by a global community of nations and intergovernmental, international, and regional organizations to put in place a GEOSS.
Progress in Japan
  In Japan, the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP) released its Earth Observation Promotion Strategy in December 2004  PDF(113KB). This document calls attention to the need for an integrated earth observation system based on user needs that would serve to enhance the earth observation network within the Asia-Oceania region. It proposes the establishment of a national Earth observation alliance to enhance cooperation among organizations, ministries, and institutions. Following this, the Earth Observation Promotion Commission was established to survey and deliberate the promotion of earth observation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). As climate change is one of the most important issues in Earth observation, the Japanese Alliance for Climate Change Observation (JACCO) was launched in April 2006.

Organization of JACCO

  The organization of JACCO is shown in the figure. The steering committee consists of relevant ministries, agencies, and institutions that perform climate change observation. The steering committee is jointly chaired by MOE and JMA. The scientific advisory board of JACCO consists of leading scientists from the field of climate science to provide the steering committee with scientific advice.

The figure of JACCO


Climate Change Strategy Collaboration Office

  To understand climate chage and its impacts, this office in particular considers measures that include compiling observation needs for the global warming field, developing implementation plans, managing and reporting on the state of dissemination of results and public awareness. Municipalities, businesses, citizens, and other actors need climate change infromation to undertake measures to cope with climate change ; to that end, the office shall, having first prepared a comprehensive information platform, continue to gather invormation and disseminate it widely in an easy-to-use form.


The figure of JACCO


2002 August World Summit on Sustainable Development at Johannesburg, South Africa
2003 June Summit of G8 Heads of State and Government in Evian, France
July First Earth Observation Summit in Washington DC, USA
2004 April Second Earth Observation Summit in Tokyo, Japan
December Council for Science and Technology Policy releases Earth Observation Promotion Strategy
2005 February Third Earth Observation Summit in Brussels, Belgium
Earth Observation Promotion Commission established at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
2006 April Japan Alliance for Climate Change Observation established.

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